Golf is a quirky sport, which invariably produces quirky habits amongst its players, whether it be in a pre-shot routine, superstitions, swing thoughts or lucky ball markers — essentially anything that can fit in or around a golf bag. For Landon School golfer Mike Blasey on Wednesday afternoon against conference rival St. Stephen's/St. Agnes, it was all about the rally cap.
He had begun the match with a double-bogey on the par-4 first hole at Lake Presidential Golf Course in Upper Marlboro and followed it up with a bogey. When he stepped up to the next tee, he flipped his hat backwards. The rally cap — and by extension, the rally — was on. Over the next seven holes, Blasey made a birdie and six pars to finish with a 2-over 38, the third lowest man for the Bears in the 188-226 victory over the Saints.
“It's all in the rally cap,” Blasey said. “It's a joke — I turned the hat backwards and almost made a hole-in-one on No. 4 but coach was giving me some glares so I turned it around after that. It was all seven [pars] after that, hit some greens, had some putts for birdie, got up-and-down on seven from a tough spot which was real big for me to keep it going.”
Junior Morgan Egloff needed no such rally or backwards hat just as freshman Jeff Samit didn't. Egloff, paired with Brent Bubles in the first grouping, made two birdies, two bogeys, and five pars for an even-par 36.
“I'm alright with it,” said Egloff, who was coming off a 7-under 65 when the team took a trip to Alabama last week. “I thought I left a few shots out there but I'm obviously pleased with a 36.”
Samit, meanwhile, played about as boring a round of golf — in this sport, boring is a compliment — as one could really ask. He hit six of seven fairways, birdied the par-5 No. 3, and bogeyed the final hole to match Egloff with an even-par effort.
“I hit a lot of greens and I got up-and-down every time except one,” Samit said. “I left myself some good opportunities for birdie and two-putted a lot of them which was fine. I'm happy.”
The final two scores kept for Landon came via senior Brent Bubles — the only senior starter on the evening — and Evan Katz, who both scored 39s. Katz recovered from a pair of double-bogeys on the first and fifth holes to play the remaining seven holes at 1-under-par while Bubles, a University of Maryland, College Park signee, played eight solid holes but had a triple-bogey on the par-5 eighth.
“Played solid, made some good putts for par, it was good,” Bubles said. “I've been getting off to rough starts recently so it was good. I played well for seven holes, got off to a good start with a birdie, and I guess didn't finish too good.”
Overall, Landon finished 8-over-par and had the luxury of dropping John Kalavritinos' 40, which would have been the medalist for the Saints by two. That type of play will be needed two weeks from now when the Bears match up with defending Interstate Athletic Conference champion Georgetown Prep, which is returning all six starters from last season.
“I'm definitely excited because Landon-Prep in anything, it's a big rivalry in this area,” Bubles said. “It's not lacrosse or hockey but to beat them in anything is something to look forward to and they're really good and playing really well right now so it should be a really good match.”
Landon 188, St. Stephen's/St. Agnes 226
Landon: Morgan Egloff 36, Jeff Samit 36, Mike Blasey 38, Evan Katz 39, Brent Bubles 39.
St. Stephen's: Josiah Mackay 42, Turner Gray 42, Jack Hall 46, Harrison Settle 46, Jack Clare 50.